Conditions That Can Mimic Lupus

Lupus Symptoms
Lupus Symptoms

Lupus is a kind of autoimmune disease that is found in a large number of people. A lot of people across the whole world fall victim to this disease, especially women. One of the problems associated with lupus is that there are no specific lupus tests for diagnosing this disease. Doctors usually determine the presence of this disease by analyzing the symptoms and a series of different lab tests. Hence, it can be challenging to diagnose lupus as there are many other diseases that mimic the lupus symptoms.

The following are some of the diseases that often exhibit the same symptoms as lupus:


This is a type of chronic disorder that is treatable. It is usually characterized by severe fatigue and extreme muscle pain. People suffering from fibromyalgia can also have headaches, sleeplessness, difficulty in concentrating, joint stiffness, painful menstrual cramps, etc. All these symptoms are also associated with lupus too. Also, if you have lupus, it is more likely for you to develop fibromyalgia.

Doctors usually find out whether a patient is suffering from fibromyalgia by ruling out other conditions that create similar issues and also by asking questions like where you felt the pain and how long it lasted.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is also an autoimmune disease like lupus. Symptoms of this particular disease include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, etc., especially in the hands and feet. RA and lupus also share a lot of many other symptoms too, including anemia (low count of red blood cells), pericarditis (swelling in the lining of the heart), atherosclerosis (artery inflammation), vasculitis (swelling of small blood cells), and more.

The diagnosis of arthritis is commonly done by analyzing the symptoms, blood tests, physical examination, X-rays, etc.


This condition is caused by the reduction in the level of thyroid hormones. Many symptoms of hypothyroidism mirror those of lupus symptoms including joint and muscle pain, hair loss, fatigue, painful menstrual periods, etc. People suffering from lupus are likely to develop hypothyroidism also. For diagnosing this condition, doctors usually measure thyroid levels, levels of thyroid-stimulating hormones, etc. along with the symptoms.

Skin conditions

Some skin conditions can also be mistaken for the rash and redness of the skin that sometimes happen with lupus. A condition called rosacea can cause redness of the skin on the face around the nose and cheek like the butterfly rash which is one of the lupus symptoms. Other conditions that may mimic the symptoms of lupus include psoriasis, melasma, eczema, etc.